Summary: We, as Christians, need to stop being "religious" and humbly start living for Christ.
Two Men and God
Are you as good as other men or as good as God? It seems that every time you talk to a “Christian” about something that is wrong in their life, the very first thing to come out of their mouth is “Well I am doing better than ole so-and-so”.
Paul wrote, “There is no one who is righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10 HCSB). But whose eyes are doing the judging you might ask. David answered that question for us in Psalms 143:2 when he said, “Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one alive is righteous in Your sight” (HCSB).
No one here today is as righteous as they think they are. But what is worse is the fact that none of use are as righteous as God has called us to be.
The problem is that mankind is hopelessly religious. We will worship something or somebody – we just can’t help it. Where the hindrance comes in is the fact that most of us have religion, but very few of us have Jesus. It is very amazing how thin the line is between the saved and the unsaved in this community; and even in this church.
I would like to share with you a story found in Luke 18:9-14:
Here in this story we have two men; one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. These two men are in church; therefore it is evident that they are religious. While in church these two men are praying; here we see that they recognize God. However, as we get into the story all we see are two men – one lost and one saved.
Let’s examine both of these men as they stood before God:
I. LOOK AT THE PHARISEE.
A. This was a man who, in the eyes of the people, was religious.
1. He followed all the rules.
a) He kept the Law.
b) He even told every one else how too be religious.
B. He saw himself as the perfect example of God’s righteousness.
1. He saw every one else as ignorant sinners.
a) Every one else was to be sneered at and belittled.
II. LOOK AT THE TAX COLLECTOR.
A. This was a man, in the eyes of the people, who was despised and out of favor with God.
1. He was a Jew working for the Romans.
a) He would take the money of the Jews and give it to the Romans.
b) He was seen as a cheat, liar and thief.
(1) Taking far more in taxes than the Rome had authorized and keeping it for himself.
B. He would not seem to be worthy of being in the Temple.
III. THE BIG DIFFERENCE.
A. Their Prayers.
B. Their Attitudes.